“If you have an Apple iPod nano and you enjoy running, power-walking, or even just long walks, listen up. Apple and Nike have partnered to create the Nike + iPod Sport Kit ($29 list), which consists of a shoe-mountable sensor and a transmitter for your iPod nano. This isn’t just a product; it’s a platform that encompasses an entire line of Nike shoes and fitness apparel, as well as an online tracking system and community network via nikeplus.com,” Mike Kobrin writes for PC Magazine.
“On a recent morning run, I took the Sport Kit for a spin in some brand-new Nike+ shoes. The Sport Kit itself consists of a very small 2.4-GHz transmitter that plugs into the iPod nano’s dock connector and a small, flat sensor that you slip into your right shoe underneath the sock guard. The two pieces communicate wirelessly with each other; the sensor sends complex waveform data about your speed, which the iPod then translates into distance and other measurements. The sensor isn’t totally flat—it’s about a quarter-inch thick—and the Nike+ shoes have a special plastic-lined indented pocket underneath the sock guard that’s specifically designed to hold it. You can’t feel the sensor at all. You can use it with other sneakers, though not in exactly the same way,” Kobrin reports.
“At the end of my run, I hit Menu and chose to end my workout. It gave me my total distance traveled and calories burned, as well as my average speed in feet per minute (you can also set the distances and speeds to be given in the metric system). After a quick cooldown and stretch, I went back home and plugged my iPod nano into my PC,” Kobrin reports.
“When I plugged the iPod in and iTunes started up, my workout data was sent immediately (via iTunes) to nikeplus.com. Then a window popped up asking if I want to visit the Web site. I clicked on Visit, and my Web browser automatically opened and launched nikeplus.com. After logging in with the e-mail address and password I had created earlier when I registered on the site—accounts are free, and it’s a simple process not requiring a credit card—my most recent run came up in a cute animated graphic showing my distance and speed. It even marked where in my run I had pressed the Select button to hear my PowerSong,” Kobrin reports. “The number of ways you can sort and analyze your running data is pretty impressive, especially for a 1.0 software release.”
“The big question for many is whether the Sport Kit will work with non-Nike+ shoes. The sensor was designed specifically to be most accurate when it’s in the center of your insole, but I tested it briefly with my New Balance sneakers. Rather than putting it underneath the sock guard, where it would have definitely been annoying under my foot, I simply stuck it in the top of my shoe between the laces and the shoe tongue. The results seem accurate enough, and you can easily calibrate the sensor (an option in the Settings submenu) by running a known distance and comparing it with your results,” Kobrin reports. “Overall, for $29, the Nike + iPod Sport Kit is well worth the price.”
Much more in the full review here.
Lance Armstrong and the Nike+iPod Sport Kit:
Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrcDyxpDY9s
How Nike+iPod works video:
Direct link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVDEXzxZWQw
The Nike+iPod Sport Kit costs US$29 and contains:
• wireless sensor for Nike+ shoes
• Wireless receiver for iPod nano
• Printed documentation
More information about the Nike+iPod Sport Kit can be found here.
Using Apple’s iPod Sport Kit with non-Nike shoes – July 17, 2006
Apple’s Nike+iPod Sport Kit officially released today (link to High-res photos) – July 13, 2006
Apple releases iTunes 6.0.5 with Nike+iPod Sport Kit sync features – June 29, 2006
Nike+iPod Sport Kit now available for order at Apple Store – June 13, 2006
Dvorak thinks iPod+Nike Sport Kit is ‘nutty’ – May 24, 2006
The making of Apple iPod+Nike Sport Kit and there’s more to come – May 24, 2006
Nike+iPod Sport Kit sensor’s battery will outlast the shoes – May 24, 2006
Analyst: Nike+Apple = iPod as a platform – May 23, 2006
Apple and Nike shares rise folowing Nike+iPod announcement – May 23, 2006
Nike and Apple team up to launch Nike+iPod, footwear that talks to your iPod – May 23, 2006